Michael Hutchence's final words revealed in new Australian documentary
Paula Yates at the funeral of Michael Hutchence in very publicly annex Hutchence, who had long been dating Helena Christensen by. During his life, Hutchence had a string of relationships with prominent actresses, models and singers, including Helena Christensen. Helena Christensen. It's not something you ever think is going to happen, especially not to someone like him. He was so very sensitive but at the same time full.Helena Christensen Interview - Michael Hutchence
The tabloids were a considered part of her strategy in the bitter custody battle she fought with Bob over their three daughters, Fifi, Peaches and Pixie, as well as an effort to very publicly annex Hutchence, who had long been dating Helena Christensen by the time he and Paula first began their affair. Paula was definitely bright and bold, maybe even a little brash, but she was vulnerable too, something the press didn't seem keen to acknowledge. Brought up an only child in north Wales, her mother was a Bluebell dancer and sometime-actress who wrote erotic fiction.
She was also absent for large parts of Paula's childhood - "I used to go to bed not knowing if she'd still be there in the morning," Paula once said, describing herself as "this whining, whining, clinging child I would lie outside the toilet if she went to the loo. Before she found this out, Paula gave a prescient interview in which she said she was astonished she was ever conceived at all. By her own account, Paula lost her virginity when she was 12, and started snorting heroin at the same age.
She seemed set to be a short-lived kind of brightness, a burst of colour doomed to fizzle out. Instead, she found purpose and security in him, and the life they built together, transforming herself from wild child to earth mother, but without losing her sense of fun; "Paula flirts with everyone," was one friend's verdict.
And yet she delivers it with a disarming kind of dash; no self-pity, and as much humour as she can squeeze.
Helena Christensen – Michael Hutchence
That's because Paula was clever - far cleverer than she got credit for; "a smart girl who made a career out of pretending to be an airhead," according to one interviewer. For all her pretence of being ditzy, she would often get up at 4am to write, produced eight books as well as researching and interviewing pop stars five days a week for The Tube, once asking Diana Ross "have you ever had any fat bits?
She was also, and in reaction to her own miserable upbringing, busy creating the perfect home life, the kind of thing that comes in a catalogue for expensive baby furniture - an idealised blend of home baking, fairy lights and indoor swings, with Paula always ready to switch from perfect mother to sexpot wife. But there too, she was astute. It has caused women untold misery and generated a million guilt-ridden insecurities.
No one can have it all; nobody ever does… I suppose I do have it all, more than anyone else I know People point the finger and say 'But you're doing this, this and this, how do you reconcile it? She had already had several affairs, including with Rupert Everett, but with Hutchence, it was immediately, devastatingly different.
They first met inwhen Paula interviewed him for The Tube. By then, she and Geldof had been together for 10 years - although they didn't marry until the following year - and had one daughter. Hutchence, the son of a middle-class Australian businessman, described in one school report as "Rather immature, but very pleasant," was up-and-coming as frontman of INXS, but not yet madly famous. The flirting was obvious - afterwards, she apparently said to the INXS tour manager, "I'm going to have that boy", but not nearly as blatant as their later, famous, Big Breakfast interview, in which she says, while draped across Hutchence, "For the first time, this is a guest I want to have my leg over.
For all the posturing around being a domestic goddess, she was frustrated and feeling hampered.
She had also come to feel that Geldof was "the most controlling person. But, he was also, apparently, suffering with depression after a freak accident left him with compromised senses of taste and smell, and would later add Prozac to the list of drugs he was taking.
In Paula, Hutchence saw someone funny, sexy, nurturing; the same endearing combination of rock chick and earth mother that she had always worked so well. As for Paula, it seemed as if she saw everything she ever wanted in Hutchence - at that stage of her life anyway.
Where Geldof, beneath his rock star exterior, was actually sensible, responsible, socially motivated, Hutchence was rock star through and through. Paula later boasted that on their first date, Hutchence did "six things I was firmly convinced were illegal," one involving oysters. She was, to put it mildly, silly for him - he called her his "soulmate"; she described him as the "Taj Mahal of crotches" - and threw herself into his world of clubs, drugs, parties and sexual experimentation.
She didn't just leave her marriage, she changed herself in fundamental ways - the boob job being the most obvious.
The passions of Paula Yates
She was the same age as Hutchence, but that still made her older than his usual run of girlfriends. She was then in her late 30s, a mother of three, and somehow, in almost all the photos of them together, she looks agitated and guarded, not the relaxed, confident women she is in photos with Geldof.
A year after the Big Breakfast interview, and in the full glare of tabloid spotlights, Paula left Bob. That she broke his heart, there is zero doubt. He didn't try to hide it, in fact he still doesn't.
There's always been this thing that it was Michael who got all the attention. Michael used to say, 'The guys complain, but they're out playing golf, sightseeing when we're on tour. I'm the one stuck in hotel rooms doing interviews. I don't mind, but at least acknowledge it. On a night out in Denmark in August with his then girlfriend Helena Christensen, Michael was punched by a taxi driver. He fell to the pavement, fracturing his skull. He never fully recovered from that punch. Along with losing his sense of smell and taste, he also began a slow descent into a devastating psychological change.
With Paula Yates in It wasn't the Michael we knew and that's what was so surprising.
He couldn't smell, he couldn't taste, he was drinking wine by the bottle because it was just like nothing to him. Their affair bore a child — Tiger Lily. It was a complete mismatch: It got to him, upset him, paralysed him. He would call me. We'd talk a bit, then I'd ask, 'Are you weeping? I'd say, 'People here know you are a good guy. Paula had moved out months before. They would call him the 'Aussie Ruffian'.
He hated that, to be called names, to be told he wasn't a nice guy. This was such a big shock. In Australia, he didn't get that. We told him to hold out to LA in three weeks.
The story of Michael Hutchence and Paula Yates
I was [going to be] there, my parents were there. When he finally got here, he didn't want to talk about it — it was only when he was alone that he would talk about it on the phone. He shouldn't have been on that tour. He loved his daughter, he should have stayed there [with her]. That was a conundrum. Three properties on the Gold Coast; a villa in the south of France; a house in London's most expensive suburb, Chelsea; an estate in Lombok, Indonesia; Bentley cars; Aston Martins; and the never-ending royalty cheques from INXS, which must still be pouring in today.
The Michael Hutchence Trust held the key to it all, a complex structure of offshore companies, from Liberia to the British Virgin Islands, and many nameless faces. It was designed to keep his taxes low and protect his fortune from falling into the wrong hands — perhaps the most bitter of ironies. Newspaper reports valued it at half that amount 12 years ago.
For years, the family bickered over different wills while the executors stalled. Even now, little is known about who the beneficiaries of Michael's millions are, and whether his daughter Tiger Lily will ever get any of his fortune when she turns 25 in Royalties add up really, really fast — that's why Michael could buy a million-dollar property over here in cash, another one over there in cash.
I encouraged them to get out of it," says Tina. Her tone is surprisingly conciliatory. She now wants to hold out an olive branch to the Estate as she needs their help to get a few projects off the ground for the 20th anniversary of Michael's death, so that Australia has a permanent memory of its most famous rock star. Michael with Tina and their mother, Patricia Glassop, Christmas Tina is campaigning local and central government authorities to create a lasting legacy — a bronze statue to be placed outside the redeveloped Sydney Entertainment Centre, now called the ICC Sydney, in Darling Harbour.
- What really tore Michael Hutchence apart
- Helena Christensen
- Great Dane
Some of Michael's old girlfriends got in touch, such as Helena Christensen and Kylie Minogue, who was a besotted year-old when she dated Michael in and, she says, he taught her "so many firsts in my life". But then I realised Michael had his villa in Monaco and we didn't talk about things like that, 'Oh, I'm just meeting the Prince. She was just very personal, a loving, lovely letter. We promised to keep it private. They felt he could talk to them, he made them feel important and smart.
People talk about charisma — he'd be talking to you, looking into your eyes. He was never a 'look at me' person. Tina calls "The Year of Michael", and projects are being lined up thick and fast. A new documentary and album of music recorded before he died is set to be released later this year by Los Angeles producer Danny Saber, who was working with Michael on new material in the last weeks of his life. People are going to be really surprised," says Tina, who has given the projects her blessing.
Don't rule out Hollywood inas the rights to Tina's book on her brother, entitled Just a Man: The Real Michael Hutchence, have been bought by a movie company.